Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 26, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Random House Children’s Books and Sesame Workshop are partnering to launch a new Sesame Street digital publishing program. The focus of the new Sesame Street digital program from Random House Children’s Books will be Early Step into Reading titles, which underline early learning and reading readiness. Select titles from the Random House Children’s Books Sesame Street library will be available as ebooks for the first time beginning this month in the US and Canada. The first digital titles, Elmo Says Achoo! and Elmo’s Breakfast Bingo, will release beginning January 25, 2012. Nineteen more titles will be released this spring, including Get Moving with Grover, Big Bird Says… and Baker, Baker, Cookie Maker. Several of the ebook titles will include audio narration from Sesame Street regular Bob McGrath.
THQ, one of the largest players in the kid-targeted video game publishing arena, is stepping out of the kid’s licensed video game category. THQ explains that instead it will focus on its core video game franchises and digital initiatives for both existing consoles and new and emerging platforms. Those games, and extended digital content, include titles like THQ’s successful Saints Row: The Third. As part of its re-focus, THQ is currently exiting its relationships with kids’ licensed entertainment companies but will continue to sell certain previously released titles. THQ is known for video games based on SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Last Airbender, movies such as Puss and Boots and Cars, and Barbie and the Bratz dolls, among many many others. The company’s five internal studios are developing games aligned to several of THQ’s non kid-targeted key franchises.
Rocket Licensing announces a publishing deal for CiTV’s (UK) preschool animated series Olly The Little White Van with Autumn Publishing, a division of Bonnier Publishing. The multi-year deal with Autumn Publishing is for the UK rights to publish 12 books in four formats, chunky board books, sound books, storybooks, and activity books. The books will be published in September 2012 and will be available at an array of retailers, including independent and specialty stores, department stores and major supermarkets, as well as online. Olly The Little White Van is produced by UK-based Ideas at Work and Blink Animation Studios. Popular kid’s TV host and actor Justin Fletcher lends his voice to Olly in the TV series. The second season of 26×5 episodes are set to air this year as part of a five-year deal with CiTV.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) enters into a new deal with app developer Lima Sky, under which it acquires the worldwide licensing rights for Doodle Jump, a popular iPhone app. FME is debuting Doodle Jump at London Toy Fair this week where it is seeking partners for the brand across consumer products, live event, and publishing. Launch in 2009, Doodle Jump has been downloaded 20+ million times and is a top 10 game in 84 countries.
Underground Toys signs a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products UK to produce a range of 4-inch and 9-inch talking plush based on ThunderCats. The line features a number of key characters from the new animated series and will debut at retail in Q3 2012. The ThunderCats series can be seen in the UK on Cartoon Network and Channel 5.
Carson-Dellosa is set to release a new line of Olivia products based on the Olivia book series by Ian Falconer. The Olivia property is managed by Chorion, which also produces the animated series. Carson-Dellosa’s Olivia products will include classroom bulletin board sets. Additionally, Carson-Dellosa will release new products under its well-established partnership with Guinness World Records. Expanding on its Guinness World Records Math and Reading Books, Creative Writing Cards, and Fact Cards, this year, Carson-Dellosa is adding new workbooks including Amazing Animals, Baffling Bodies and Outrageous Oddities, tangrams featuring favorite records picked by students and motivational bulletin board sets and bookmarks.
Exim Licensing Group enters into two new licensing deals that will see it launch two properties, Jelly Jamm and Condorito across Latin America.
- First, Exim partners with Vodka Capital to introduce a licensing program based on the 3D animated comedy Jelly Jamm. Exim will represent all licensing for Jelly Jamm throughout Latin America (excluding Mexico). Targeted to preschoolers and focused on creativity, music, fun and friendship, Jelly Jamm is part of Vodka Capital’s portfolio and is co-produced with 737 Shaker, Bandai, RTVE and Big Picture Productions. Discovery Kids began airing the series in Latin America in October 2011. Turner Enterprises handles licensing and merchandising for the Jelly Jamm property across EMEA, excluding Spain and Portugal, which are managed by El Ocho.
- Exim has been appointed as the licensing agent for the iconic Condorito character for Latin America (excluding Chile and Peru). Exim plans to reach out to both longtime Condorito fans and introduce the character to a new generation of fans by partnering with key brands and retailers, as well as developing digital content, including social media. Created by Chilean cartoonist Pepo (Rene Rios B.) and owned by World Editors, Condorito is the most widely read Spanish-language comic strip in the world, the 30+ year old Condorito magazine is published by Televisa. World Editors distributes the Condorito daily comic strip to newspapers in Latin America and the US via United Press Syndicate.
Dino Dan gets new episodes, an app, mass market toy launch and a new DVD in 2012. Toronto-based Sinking Ship Entertainment‘s preschool series Dino Dan has been picked up for a second season (52×11) by Nick Jr. (US), TVO (Canada) and TVA (French Canada). Production on the new season of Dino Dan is set to begin in March 2012, and will debut in Canada this year. Breakthrough Entertainment distributes the series internationally. March 2012 will also see the debut of Sinking Ship Interactive‘s first Dino Dan themed app, Dino Defence, on iTunes, the launch of Dino Dan’s first mass-market toys featuring seven new dinosaur toys at retail in the US and Canada, as well as NCircle‘s release of the second Dino Dan DVD. The Licensing Shop manages licensing for Dino Dan.
KidZui Inc., creator of the kid-targeted KidZui web browser and virtual community Zui.com (www.zui.com), announces the company is officially changing its name to Zui.com. The combined traffic of the KidZui Browser and Zui.com is set to reach 2.2 million uniques this month. Zui.com says the majority of that traffic comes from the kid-driven community on Zui.com, which launched in August 2011. Zui.com was initially designed to make it easier for kids to find and enjoy the company’s 5+ million parent-and-teacher reviewed games, YouTube videos and other content, without a required download. With that goal a reality, the site evolved into the kid-driven community it is today.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 817; K6-11 427; TWEENS 9-14 334
NICKELODEON: K2-11 807; K6-11 307; TWEENS 9-14 196
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 479; K6-11 319; TWEENS 9-14 280
DISNEY XD: K2-11 167; K6-11 125; TWEENS 9-14 116
NICKTOONS: K2-11 78; K6-11 52; TWEENS 9-14 54
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: What animated show includes characters named Hayman, Grubby and Scrap Boy? dirtgirlworld. Kudos to: Sierra Filucci-Common Sense Media/San Francisco.
Today’s Trivia Question: What sitcom character is Fred Flintstone based upon? (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
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